Helen McBreen at the Art of the Start

Written by: Philip Smyth
Written on: Friday, 28 February, 2014

 ‘The Art of the Start‘ was delighted to welcome guest speaker Dr Helen McBreen, Commercial Development Leader at NDRC, on Wednesday, 26th of February. Helen currently leads the NDRC’s efforts in finding new investment opportunities for NDRC VentureLab. The NDRC has a strong track record in building and supporting the growth of early stage science and technology start-up companies. Helen herself has previously held various roles at Celtrak, Digital Fashion and NUIG and is an expert in international selling best practice. For a number of years she has worked as a business advisor on the Enterprise Ireland/DIT International selling programme.

In this seminar some of the supports that the NDRC provides to individuals and teams seeking to commercialise their research are outlined. There is particular focus on the challenges that are unique to commericalising research produced in academic labs and how, through the SeedLab and VentureLab programmes, the NDRC can support promoters in their efforts. Insufficient market validation, imbalanced team formation (no business co-founder) and lack of early stage capital are amongst the most frequent reasons that academic start-ups fail. SeedLab and later the VentureLab programme  are designed to help address some of these challenges. The programme provides mentoring support, access to industry experts and commercialisation funding of up to €100k.

The investment phase of the NDRC VentureLab programme offers the following:

  • 6-month intensive, deeply experiential and focused accelerator programme.
  • Mentoring and access to business networks.
  • “Hands on sleeves rolled up approach” from some of the best commercialisation experts in the ecosystem.
  • Access to multiple areas of expertise within commercialisation process.
  • Opportunity to be involved in a great new ‘investor ready’ venture Investment up to €100k